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Intense Install Part of Adjustment to NFL for Kenny Pickett

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Steelers QB Kenny Pickett OC Matt Canada

Shortly after signing his rookie contract on Thursday, Steelers’ first-round pick Kenny Pickett appeared on the Perfect Thursday Podcast with former Pitt teammates Jim Medure, Jake Zilinskas and Jimmy Morrissey, who is currently a center for the Texans. Most of the discussions on the podcast centered around Pickett and his teammates playing days at Pitt, but Pickett did touch a little bit on his adjustment to the NFL and transition to the Steelers.

“It was a good experience, kind of get my feet wet,” Pickett said about OTAs and minicamp. “Learning the offense is obviously the number one thing, so once I felt I had that down, I was playing a lot faster. I am looking forward to camp and getting back to it.”

Zilinskas followed by asking Pickett how the installs in the NFL are compared to in college.

“We had more installs in college in terms of like number of them,” Pickett said. “We had six with the Steelers so far, and just there’s a lot more volume in each I’d say. So, they’re not dragged out as much as college was. You have to learn a lot more in a short amount of time. And I had to catch up obviously to what they already had put in. Rookie minicamp, I think we were through like 1.5. We finished up on Sunday and (next Tuesday) was our first OTAs with the vets and they were on six. It’s good, it’s kind of just (being) thrown in the fire and you got to learn.”

After playing five years at Pitt and being in the same facility as the Steelers, Pickett is well-versed with the culture and surroundings of the city. But the familiarities end there.

“You guys know, we don’t go to the other side of the facility when you play for Pitt,” Pickett said. “I’m learning a whole new NFL offense. Yeah, I’m familiar with the city, I’ve obviously lived here before. But in terms of playing football like no one really focuses too much on that. When you come in all you’re thinking about is, ‘Alright, I got to learn this playbook, I got to adjust as fast as I can so I can go out there and play.’ But it’s just different than college. Everyone has jobs. Everyone has families. So, you got to go out there and perform because if you don’t perform well, it affects them. You want to climb the roster as fast as you can and play with the best guys and compete. So, there’s a lot that goes into it, but I just love playing. I’ve got great guys on our roster. Our team is pretty tight already, so it’s been a lot of fun.”

Pickett has almost a month to get ready for training camp, which begins on July 26.

“I know camp in Latrobe and being back in dorms is definitely going to be an experience. I just hope there’s some AC in there and we’ll be good to go,” Pickett said.

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